My short story “Cookie Cutter Superhero” was just released in Kaleidoscope, a YA anthology of diverse teenage stories. I’m really delighted that so many people have been enjoying this story and the world – even if it does mean I am getting daily requests to turn it into a novel! There’s a lovely review of my story here at Brewing Tea and Books, and Eugene Myers wrote a nice review of the whole anthology at League of Extraordinary Writers.
Pozible supporters should have their copy of Kaleidoscope already; if you didn’t support the campaign, you can buy it right now in most countries though the official Australian release date is not until 1 October.
UPDATE: My story “The Raven and her Victory” has just been reprinted in Heiresses of Russ 2014! This is my Edgar Allen Poe story, and I’m very pleased that it’s the final piece in this reprint anthology of lesbian-themed SFF.
Meanwhile, another book release! Tehani at Fablecroft has released an e-collection of my Pratchett’s Women essays, following the development of female characters across the Discworld novels. The book contains all nine Pratchett’s Women essays that have appeared here on the blog, starting with the original “The Boobs, the Bad and the Broomsticks” which remains by far the most viewed page ever published on this blog, at over 13,000 hits. All essays have been revised for this edition.
The (unauthorised) essays cover various issues to do with feminism, invisible wives, fairy tales, fatness, gender performance, motherhood, witchcraft, romance and identity in the Discworld. The book includes one bonus essay which is exclusive to the e-edition: “Socks, Lies and the Monstrous Regiment,” which covers the extraordinary feminist achievement of that particular novel, and explores my discomfort with how my 20-something self reacted so differently to the book than I do now in my thirties. So if you’ve read all the other essays for free you might still like to get hold of the book for completion’s sake. I’m pretty sure I have not yet said EVERYTHING I have to say about Pratchett’s Discworld and the women who live there, but this is me done for now.
There’s more! I’m going to be at LonCon this coming week. If you are also going to be there and want to get in touch, Twitter is probably the best way to go about it. Here is my official presence on the program, which I’m putting here for my own reference as well as for those of you who might want to come check out what I’m doing:
Friday, 15 August
Signing: Tansy Rayner Roberts, Ramez Naam, Mur Lafferty, Richard Calder, Michael Swanwick, Catherynne M. Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Chris Achilleos
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (ExCeL), 4:30pm – 6pm
Saturday, 16 August
SFWA Meeting. I don’t know where this is. I’m sure it’s all going to be fine.
The Review is Political
Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL), 12pm – 1:30pm
Kevin McVeigh, Abigail Nussbaum, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Elías Combarro, Alisa Krasnostein
Every review is a political act because every review makes choices: about which aspects of a work to focus on, what context to provide, which yardsticks to use, and more. And while no choices are neutral, some can be the default — a focus on plot and character, for instance, and less discussion of style and politics. What other defaults can we identify in SF and fantasy reviewing? How are reviews that depart from those defaults challenged? Are any defaults changing — and if so, how can we help that process along?
The Daughters of Buffy
Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL), 1:30pm – 3pm
Foz Meadows, L. M. Myles, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sarah Shemilt
At the end of last year, to mark ten years since the broadcast of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the BBC, Naomi Alderman made a special edition of the Radio 4 programme Front Row, featuring interviews with cast, creator, and critics. Among other things, she asked what the show’s legacy had been, and whether the right lessons — female characters written as well as men, given as much narrative importance as men, and surrounded by other women — had been learned. Following on from her discussion, our panel will ask: who are Buffy’s heirs? (And you can listen to the original programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m7zmq)
Sunday, 17 August
Awards and Their Narratives
Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL), 10am – 11am
Tom Hunter, Stan Nicholls, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Simon Guerrier, Tanya Brown
As one of Saturday’s panels discussed, many factors come into play when judges or voters decide which books to recognise with awards. But what happens afterwards, over the years, as the list of winners grows? As an award develops a “canon”, patterns will emerge, different maps of what we should be valuing in science fiction and fantasy. This panel will discuss the maps drawn by different genre awards — from the Hugos to the Clarkes, from Tiptree to Translation, from Aurealis to BSFA — and the ways in which readers make use of them.
You Don’t Like Me When I’m Angry
Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL), 3pm – 4:30pm
Mary Anne Mohanraj, Martin McGrath, Stephanie Saulter, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Nin Harris
Commenting on the portrayal of Magneto in X-Men: First Class, Abigail Nussbaum noted that there is an “increasing prevalence of vengeful victim characters, who are condemned not for the choices they make in pursuit of revenge, but simply for feeling anger … There is in stories like this a small-mindedness that prioritizes the almighty psychiatric holy grail of “healing”–letting go of one’s anger for the sake of inner peace–over justified, even necessary moral outrage.” Which other stories — on TV or in books, as well as in films — follow this template, and whose interests do they really serve? Where can we find depictions of the power of anger, and/or other models of anger?
Monday, 18 August
Reading: Dr. Tansy Rayner Roberts
London Suite 1 (ExCeL), 11:30am – 12pm
Almost certainly going to read “Cookie Cutter Superhero”. Unless there is an overwhelming majority vote for Musketeers…